Baby name consultant: Green bean No. 5 needs an elegant, slightly offbeat name

Happy Memorial Day everyone!! 🗽 Many many thanks to all those who died in defense of our country. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May then rest in peace. 💕 🙏

Colleen and her husband who are expecting their fifth baby, a little green bean! 🌱 He or she is joining big sibs:

Hanna Marie
Angele Therese nicked Angie
Nadia Renee
Leo Sebastian

Such gorgeous, elegant names!!

Colleen writes,

We like some slightly offbeat, heavier French but some foreign-ness to them names that can be normalized if people flip out (such as Angie), but they do need to stem from saints or have a faithful meaning.”

This is such a fun “theme” to work with — there are so many delicious names to choose from!

Names they’re currently considering include:

— Margaret Alice
— Elizabeth Anne
— Azelie Colette/Catherine
— Rosemary Bernadette
— Gloria Mercy
— Annelise
— Bridgette (“this is the only name that [my hubs] has brainstormed to me, so I put weight on it. This was back when we were expecting Nadia, and he now doesn’t remember, but when I said it without saying its source, he swooned all over again“)
— Mireille (“I love these Marian-looking French names. One just as pretty but slightly easier to pronounce would be great. I understand this would be something like “meer-AY”“)

— Louis Clement (frontrunner; “I have huge devotion to the famous saintly Martin family (Louis, Zelie, and their children), so Louis would be pronounced the French “Loo-ee.” Clement for the year of mercy“)
— Louis Jerome (further 2nd place; “Jerome meaning holy name, from what I can find, and obviously a saintly background“)
— Samuel Joseph (“it’s fading in both of our love for it, but we haven’t 100% nixed it“)
— Jeanluc Vianney (“love it, love the double 1st name, but I worry that it’s SO French“)
— Joachim Vianney (“I’d do a nickname of either Joah or Jovi … [Colleen’s hubs isn’t feeling it, but his] oldest brother’s full name is Jory Christopher, so that sound combo is already familiar, but unused. I also think Joachim Vianney ties together Hanna and Angie’s names with Hebrew & French“)

(Omgoodnessgracious you guys! Did you see that JOACHIM is on her list?! Hurrah!! 😍 🎉)

Colleen says,

I feel like we have a lot of lovely options if this baby is a girl, but not a lot for a boy. We are pretty smitten with the idea of Leo & Louis bopping around being boys together, but we’re so used to girl options…it feels strange to have so few for boys!

And an additional consideration in regards to girl names is that,

[T]he frontrunners right now are either Rosemary Bernadette or Gloria Mercy. I have concerns about a Gloria coming next, though.

Our Angie is aptly named, and is our sensitive soul. If we have a Hanna, Nadia, and Gloria, and ANGIE…even though I think her full name is the most elegant of them all, Angie will hear and FEEL that she’s the only “ee” girl. She would love a girl named Gracie or Rosie. I love the name Rosie as well. Gracie/Grace is lovely, but [my hubs] doesn’t go for (English language, clearly Nadia means Hope, but he wouldn’t consider Hope itself) virtue first names. But he’ll accept Rosemary. Win-win there.”

Finally, names they like but can’t use for various reasons include:


Alrighty! So first, some thoughts about the names on their list of considerations:

I think it’s so sweet they’re worried about Angie and her sweet sensitivity! It played a big role in the names I came up with for girls for Colleen and her hubs (below). Rosemary certainly takes care of that, and I also wondered if they’d consider nicknaming Gloria “Glory,” or just using Glory as the full name? Or Mercy as the first name? Or Mercedes nicked Mercy? I love Mercedes for them! (Spotlight on it here.) Also Bernadette as a first name could go by Bernie or Birdie or Benny … but is the –nadette part too similar to Nadia?

The rest of their girl ideas are great, and I only had a couple thoughts, like: What about Marguerite instead of Margaret, to up the French aspect? What about Elisabeth instead of Elizabeth? (Servant of God Elisabeth Leseur is a favorite of mine.) Annelise seems a bit much with Hanna, but it made me think they might like just Elise instead of the full Eliz/sabeth.

Mireille is gorgeous! I wondered if the variants Mireia or Mireya might be easier? And Bridgette is beautiful, and I agree with Colleen — any time my husband tells me he likes a name I try to figure out how to make it work, because he rarely offers ideas. I also love Ruth, especially Ruthie — that could be Angie’s “ee” name! Though they didn’t ask for middle name ideas, I’m really digging the first+middle combo Ruth Azelie, swoon!

For boys, Louis Clement and Louis Jerome are fab, no quibbles here.

Samuel Joseph is so handsome, and Jeanluc Vianney! Wow! I had a couple thoughts about Jeanluc — first, if they did JohnLuke or John Luke or Johnluke or John-Luke (which I think is my favorite) they could still have the French feel and the double first name without all the Jeanluc-ness of it, you know? John-Luke Vianney is so handsome! (It made me wonder if they’d considered Vianney as a first name for a girl? It’s got that “ee” ending, like Angie, and the family at the blog My Child I Love You has a little girl named Vianney. They also have a Clairvaux, who goes by Clair sometimes, and I thought that was a great suggestion for this family as well.)

And of course I love that Colleen loves Joachim! A girl after my own heart! I was thinking … if she really wanted to try to convince her hubs … would pairing Joachim with a middle name like Robert or Gregory or Gerard or Jerome and using the nickname Jory appeal to him? Using his brother’s name Jory as a nickname as a nickname for Joachim + [something with R in the middle] makes it feel more familiar and connected to family …

As for new ideas for Colleen and her hubs, I struggled a bit, mostly because I rely so heavily on the Baby Name Wizard to point me in the right direction (it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity), and so many of their names weren’t in it (like Angele … there’s Angela, but I don’t think Stephanie, Tamara, and Melissa are style matches for Angele like they are for Angela). And I was really feeling the French vibe, but then Nadia brings in a Slavic element … So I just went ahead and made a list of names I *thought* might work, with some help from the BNW as well as my own mental files.

(1) Domitille
Back in November I posted a pseudo consultation for a family who likely won’t have any more babies, but wanted to have some fun thinking of ideas in the slight possibility that they might. The mom is from France and the dad is Irish-American and they decided the mom would name the girls and the dad would name the boys. So the girls all have French names, and the boys all have Irish! Haha! Anyway, the French girls’ names are super French, being that the mom is French, and I thought of them right away when working on this for Colleen and her hubs. One of the girls is Domitille, and she sometimes goes by Domi (DO-mee), which I thought fit right in with Angie (and Domitille ends in –le like Angele!). (Their other girls have beautiful names as well, and I suggested a bunch more French names to them, so I think it’s definitely worth a look!)

(2) Sylvie
I was definitely on an “ee” kick (you’ll see it in my next two suggestions as well!), and French was my main inspiration, so Sylvie was a natural fit. A mom told me recently that she named her daughter Sylvie Regina and I almost died with happiness, what a great combo! I love how it sounds so much like Salve Regina.

(3) Lucie
Lucy was listed as a style match for Leo and Alice, and I thought it really went with the sweetness of their other girls’ names, but I loved the idea of changing the spelling to the French Lucie. I think they could also think of Lucie as a nod to St. Louis Martin, because of its similarity in sound, or I’ve often thought Lucy/Lucie could be a natural nickname for Louisa, so maybe they’d like to consider that?

(4) Felicity
I know, Felicity is neither French nor any kind of exotic, but I love it, and it’s a style match for Annelise, which is pretty cool (I do love Annelise). I waffled about whether or not to include it here, and ultimately decided to because I love seeing Hanna, Angele, Nadia, Leo, and Felicity listed together. It’s a totally subjective gut-reaction kind of thing.

(1) Maximilian
Even though I found it harder to come up with ideas for boys, I tried to come up with a few more than girls’ names, because they seem so set with girls’ names. Maxim is a style match for Nadia, Max for Leo, Maximilian for Sebastian, and Maxwell for Annelise. So Max- names seemed like they’d be the kind this family would like, and if I had to guess, I think Maximilian would be their favorite out of all of them. And it’s St. Maximilian Kolbe without the Kolbe that’s on their no-go list!

(2) Gerard
I always think of Gerard and Jerome together, so seeing that they’re considering Jerome for a middle name made me think of Gerard. Then I saw that it’s a match for Therese and Colette—voila! Certainly Gerry/Jerry’s a natural nickname, but I also like the idea of Ged/Jed.

(3) Gregory
Gregory is 100% inspired by Leo. Leo, to me, is always Pope St. Leo the Great, and Gregory is Pope St. Gregory the Great. Two Pope St. the Greats have to be brothers! Rory and Gus are two nicknames I think are a bit more current than Greg (Gus could come from something like Gregory Stephen, ohhh my).

(4) Xavier
My brother has a Leo and I suggested incorporating Xavier for their second son, because for some reason I always think of them as going together. I think Xavier has some good use in France, and it’s certainly got the saintly cred.

(5) Blaise
Blaise is one of my favorite names for a boy, because its fiery sound totally reminds me of my own little boys whizzing around the house/yard/you name it. And it’s French!

(6) Dominic/k
Finally, Dominic or Dominik. I kept trying to find names that ventured a little bit from French into maybe Slavic territory, a la Nadia, and Dominik seemed like a really good fit. The “k” ending makes it seem just a little more Nadia-esque, but the Dominic spelling is fine too, and in fact my father-in-law’s dad was from Poland and spelled his name Dominic, so either one could be great. I love Dominic/k as a brother to Leo and to their girls.

And those are my ideas for Colleen and her hubs! What do you think? What names would you suggest for a little brother or sister for Hanna, Angele, Nadia, and Leo?


33 thoughts on “Baby name consultant: Green bean No. 5 needs an elegant, slightly offbeat name

  1. How about Clemence (cleh-MANCE) for a daughter? Lots of nicknames that match the -ee ending: Clemmie, Lele, Mancy, (even Nancy maybe?), Cece.

    And for a boy: Luc!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, they will. Of course, I can only speak for myself, but as a Trek fan, it was the first thing I thought of, lol. It’s such a handsome double name though.

      The names here were all gorgeous, both on Colleen’s list and the consultation suggestions. Just my taste! 🙂 Annelise, Mireya, Xavier, Joachim, seeing Joachim made me very happy… Anyway, it’s all just my taste! And there’s already a Nadia! *swoon*

      Rosemary could be Rosemarie for the ‘ee’ and French feel.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mama Colleen here…so funny, I know the Jean-Luc Picard (sp?) Reference, but we aren’t big TV people, and hubby doesn’t know the reference at all. However, Xavier is out because it’s an X-Men character 😦 anyway–question on Rosemarie vs Rosemary: we frequently call the kids their first-middle names, not just in discipline moments. They’re too lovely not to say the full name! So, “Hanna Marie”…4 kids later Rosemarie ______?? Too similar? I do like the sound of Rosemarie too. I know a family with a Sarah Christine and next child is Christina Mae, so maybe Hanna Marie and say Rosemarie Bernadette aren’t a big deal?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hmmm good point … I think in this case I’d prefer Rosemary, but I don’t think it’s a huge deal to use Rosemarie. (I think your combos are so lovely too!)


  2. can I ask you how do you pronounce angele? I personally think rosemary/rosemarie bernadette is just too much of a mouthful next to the other names, glory would actually be a good alternative to gloria, and it’s a bit unexpected just like angele. how about something like mathilde, cecile, colette, suzanne? I think these are quite accessible french names with good nickname options.

    for a boy I would personally avoid louis because it’s so matchy with leo (in a cute way tho). leo and max are a great combo, and I looove joachim. I think Blaise would also work well with this set. Or Felix, august, and jasper.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mama again 🙂 Best I can replicate not knowing phonetic writing is On-Jel Tuh-Rez for Angèle Thérèse (my phone does the accents, my comp that I wrote Kate on does not). I worry about the matchy aspect of Leo and Louis too! I have been thinking Rosemary Bernadette is too much for us, and keep tossing out to the hubby Lucie Ruth. I swoon. I do like how Bridgette Lucie sounds too, although we sometimes nickname, and we just found out a cousin, Emma, is on the way, so Bridgette then couldn’t be nicked my fav, Etta (Emma and Etta born 2 months apart and living 20 mins from each other? No, especially since it’s the same last name!). And yes, I love Max. And Joachim.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, and Gigi would be a great nickname for Bridgette, since Etta is out, and it would tie together with Angie really well, and the French theme.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. French Marian names that are easier to pronounce:

    Mylène (my-len) a contraction of the combo Marie-Hélène

    Maylis (may-leese) a combo of Occitan (language used in Southern France) words mother and lily otherwise a contraction of Marie and Lys (lily). Also can be spelled Mailys

    Marise (ma-reese) a nickname for Marie

    Other French combo boy names like Jean-Luc



    St. Therese’s mother and sister


    Combos made from those:

    Celine Brigitte
    Zelie Brigitte

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love this mother’s taste in names!! Her children’s names and lists of names are very very nearly identical to our kids’ names/future names, as we have a French last name and our family is half French Canadian. My husband even has an aunt Mireille who goes by Mir (Meer). With that, I’d suggest (firsts or middles): Vincent, Nicolette, Raphael, Daniel, Sylvie, Simone, Pascale, Madeleine, and Nathalie. But I really think the names already on her list are the best choices. Great work, mama!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ah! A real-life Mireille! I was wondering if Mira/Mir was a common nickname. We have cousins named Rhea (“Ray-ah” so nicknaming Mireille to the same wouldn’t work) and Simone, and my sister is a Madeleine. Love that our tastes collide! It’s so funny to me that Angie is nicknamed; we love the full Angèle. And I gravitate to names ending in -a all the time. Second place to the -elle or -ette sounds, so even though it may sound silly to be trying so hard for an -ee sound for the sake of a 5 year old, all of her pretend play names end like her name: Gracie, Rosie, Lucy…those are the common ones. She’s even asked to be renamed Bella. (Turned down Ella/Elle though – we could’ve gotten to that from her name!) I’m loving all the ideas, so grateful for this consult!❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sylvie sounds great for this family! And I’d suggest Camille, too. And for a boy, Felix.

    Since Hanna means “grace”, and Angele is an obvious reference to the Angels of God, and Nadia means “hope”, I’d say that these names are virtue-ish names/names loosely based on Biblical concepts. So, here are some names that fit this “category”: Irene (it means “peace”), Gwen (it means “white” and “blessed”, so it sound very Marian to me), Adeline (it means “noble”) and Celine (it’s a derivative of the latin word for “heaven”).

    Liked by 1 person

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